Discussion: Brad Hawpe

At the beginning of baseball's offseason, Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd said that while he was willing to listen to trade offers for Brad Hawpe, the team had no desire to move its right fielder. With the Rockies looking like a strong playoff contender, there's a good chance they'll maintain that stance throughout the 2010 season. On a Colorado roster with a loaded outfield, however, Hawpe will be an interesting case going forward.

An underrated source of offensive production, the 30-year-old has been extremely consistent for the Rockies, compiling a .288/.384/.518 slash line and averaging 25 homers over his last four seasons. His play in the outfield is another story. Hawpe's -25.9 UZR/150 last season was a league-worst mark among qualifying fielders, but was actually an improvement over his -46.6 UZR/150 in 2008. Given his poor defense and his struggles against left-handers (.243/.337/.438 in 2009), Hawpe will likely cede some playing time to lefty killers Dexter Fowler and Ryan Spilborghs.

Hawpe will earn a reasonable $7.5MM salary this year. His club option for 2011, which he could void in the event of a trade, is a little pricier, at $10MM (with a $500K buyout). The Rockies could decide at year's end to decline Hawpe's option, turning instead to their younger, cheaper talent. The team has no shortage of outfield options, including Carlos Gonzalez, Seth Smith, Fowler, and Spilborghs.

If you were O'Dowd, how would you handle Hawpe in 2010? Is he a trade candidate this season? Is his offense strong enough to make up for his defense? Are his services worth the $9.5MM it would cost the Rockies to retain him for 2011?


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35 Comments on "Discussion: Brad Hawpe"


rockiesfan_303
5 years 4 months ago

I hope the Rockies hang onto him, but they certainly have a lot of options. If he can regain form, then Eric Young Jr can be the new 2B, and pair that with the young core of Tulow, Fowler, Gonzalez, Stewart… this team looks really good. also, when hawpe’s defense gives out, he could potentially replace Helton at 1B

Nicolas_C
5 years 4 months ago

When his defense gives out? Could it really get any worse?

rockiesfan_303
5 years 4 months ago

True, it is a concern, although his arm has looked very strong to me at times. But your right, with Helton probably at least playing this season and next, keeping Hawpe out there might not be the best solution with guys like Fowler, C Gonz and EY Jr. availible. Not to mention Smith and Spilly.
Tell you, a lot of people in here in Colorado are going to be sad to see him go, he is very well liked out here.

rockiesfan_303
5 years 4 months ago

True, it is a concern, although his arm has looked very strong to me at times. But your right, with Helton probably at least playing this season and next, keeping Hawpe out there might not be the best solution with guys like Fowler, C Gonz and EY Jr. availible. Not to mention Smith and Spilly.
Tell you, a lot of people in here in Colorado are going to be sad to see him go, he is very well liked out here.

5 years 4 months ago

trade him to yankees for chamerlain, gardner

myname_989
5 years 4 months ago

Might as well throw in a couple of no-names like Sabathia and Teixeria too.

5 years 4 months ago

yeah like the yanks need gardner or chamberlain get real

myname_989
5 years 4 months ago

So all the sudden GM’s are trading away players “they don’t need?” I don’t know what fantasy baseball team you are managing, but I can’t imagine a world in which a team “doesn’t need” their eight inning set-up man and quite possibly the fastest guy on their roster. Asking for Chamberlain alone is enough to hang up the phone on this deal, and Colorado already has at least equivalent, if not better, in house options available than Brett Gardner. This deal makes no sense.

BentoBox
5 years 4 months ago

Chamberlain and Gardner were more valuable than Hawpe last year.
2009’s WAR:
Joba Chamberlain (1.9) > Brad Hawpe (1.3)
Brett Gardner (2.0) > Brad Hawpe (1.3)

nhsox
5 years 4 months ago

But, how much value does Hawpe gain if he doesn’t play the field?

Kolukonu
5 years 4 months ago

And if he doesn’t play in the field, that moves Nick Johnson from DH over to the bench, and puts Randy Winn (really?) or Marcus Thames (again, really?) as the starting LF. I’ll stick with Gardner in LF, thanks.

elliotlc
5 years 4 months ago

HE would be a pretty good replacement for helton but only if he was 3 or 4 years younger. He still hasn’t had a complete year at the plate but I don’t think his defense is as bad as advertised. He has one of the strongest arms in the majors which is great for a right fielder. I think the team in a year or two would be better off with cargo in right, fowler in center, and Seth smith in left. I love hawpe just like atkins though his time will run out and he will be replaced with a prospect with bigger upside. And give the Rockies credit because it is not that they won’t spend but they spend appropriatly and have raised payroll every year these last couple of years and look what it has helped them become

mrsjohnmiltonrocks
5 years 4 months ago

A nice dilemma to have. Pretty good offensive outfielder, but with holes in his game. Offers some help right now to you-so, of course, you keep him. Keep him as a chip for pitching (what contending team doesn’t need pitching some where along the way?) or just keep using him if you don’t. Win win.

Next season there is a different question. If I were the Rockies, and decided that Hawpe is the one, I’d restructure and extend the contract. $10 million-he’s just not worth that. If he doesn’t want to do that, I’d just buy him out and take my chances with the next young outfielder off of the assembly line. Damn, the Rockies know how to grow outfielders, don’t they?

BaseballFan0707
5 years 4 months ago

His defense is scary bad, almost Adam Dunn scary bad.

Either he moves to first base or finds a home in a hitter friendly park as a DH. I say decline the option. They’re better off with their in-house options that are much cheaper and can actually field their position. Hell if I care if a player has a cannon for an arm if he isn’t getting to balls that even slightly below average fielders get to routinely.

GravediggerHebnerTRDMB
5 years 4 months ago

Wasn’t there a recent “Nats looking for a RF” article? Someone notify eHarmony.

5 years 4 months ago

Seattle could use him for LF/DH

Ferrariman
5 years 4 months ago

wow!! i had no idea his defense was that bad! jesus crist…and in that ballpark…id just bench him but money rules the game and wisdom takes a back seat.

jdub220
5 years 4 months ago

The Rockies could probably get more for Hawpe if they sell him off as a first baseman, where his Dunn-like fielding skills would be minimized.

Holy_Roman_Emperor
5 years 4 months ago

Atlanta?

I wouldn’t mind Hawpe in STL……….. either Hawpe or Cust. However our bullpen is a much bigger problem at present than beefing up our bench.

Taskmaster75
5 years 4 months ago

Where would we put him? Ludwick and Holliday are certainly better, and he would be a waste to put in CF (Also, Rasmus is going to be better than him by the end of the season). It would be a waste to put him on the bench for what he makes. Only in case of an injury would I consider it, but would rather go with Craig. What do we have that they would want?

Redhawk
5 years 4 months ago

Hawpe’s defense isn’t as bad as it’s made out to be by UZR which tends to under-estimate Rockies outfielders. He’s not good, and he’s losing range, but he has a very good arm.

Hawpe is according to reports a great club house guy, and well liked, and one of the Rockies leaders. He was kept as much for the off field stuff as stats. He was a 1b in college, and I would assume he will be one again, but Hawpe will be too old to replace Helton (who was the road block that moved Hawpe to RF in the first place).

I’d assume Hawpe will be a Rockie through this year, as the Rockies go for their first division title ever. After that, I’d assume he will be bought out. He might be extended, THEN traded.

jdub220
5 years 4 months ago

You think Fangraphs writers have a negative bias towards Rockies outfielders? Do you think they’re just Rockie haters? Really now…

Redhawk
5 years 4 months ago

no, no…I think their stat is a little messed up or they are rating Coors Field wrong some how. I don’t think it’s personal.

jdub220
5 years 4 months ago

Maybe it’s because of the size of Coors or something?

Regardless, Hawpe is absolutely awful in the field, I can tell by just watching him, even if his career UZR/150 might be more like -15–18 rather than -21.5.

joe_dodger
5 years 4 months ago

I wish L.A. could trade Manny for him.

thegrayrace
5 years 4 months ago

I’d love the Dodgers to sign him next off-season if his option is not picked up. He’d be a great option for LF until Robinson or Lambo are ready. He could definitely replace Manny’s offensive production and his defense can’t be that much worse…

thegrayrace
5 years 4 months ago

I’d love the Dodgers to sign him next off-season if his option is not picked up. He’d be a great option for LF until Robinson or Lambo are ready. He could definitely replace Manny’s offensive production and his defense can’t be that much worse…

nyck170
5 years 4 months ago

anybody else think seth smith would mash if given full playing time?

5 years 4 months ago

I just told my wife that Hawpe was the only thing preventing Smith from exploding on the scene and that as much as I’d hate to lose him that the Rockies need to move him.

Kolukonu
5 years 4 months ago

Hawpe will be a great DH in the AL someday. Given the current lack of space in places for DH in the AL, I think they’ll hold onto him until the trade deadline. If Oakland is somehow miraculously still in the race, I think they may swing a deal for him to upgrade from Chavez at DH.

progmatinee
5 years 4 months ago

Its hard to argue against the stats, however as a Rockies fan watching Hawpe play everyday I never get the sense that “dear God he’s killing us out there”. He doesn’t get to much, but I rarely see make complete bone headed outfield moves…which did come on occassion from Holliday.

mrj171
5 years 4 months ago

There’s no reason to move him unless they need to shore up the pen or a solid starter becomes available from a rebuilding team midseason. You can always platoon him with Spilborghs until that happens although Seth Smith seems to fit that roll just as good if not better than Hawpe. I also follow the Rockies and it’s not his defense so much as inability to do much against lefties that really hurts the Rockies.

Trious
5 years 4 months ago

Hawpe can’t like having his name used for bait all the time

The fact that he isn’t being traded isn’t that much of an assurance. If the right deal comes, they will ship him out

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
5 years 4 months ago
aap212
5 years 4 months ago

It’s not just your feeling. He has a career 1037 OPS against them, and was a cool 1200 last year.